Documenting the 20th Century, frame by frame
UCLA Film & Television Archive offers you one of the largest libraries of historical footage documenting the people, places, events and lifestyles of the 20th Century—nationally and worldwide.
The Paper Print Collection (1894-1912)
Films produced during the early years of the movie industry were printed onto paper rolls so they could be registered for copyright protection. As the original nitrate film elements decomposed, these paper prints were often the only versions of the movies that survived. In the mid-1980s, the Library of Congress contracted with the UCLA Film & Television Archive to remaster this material onto 35mm film stock using a special printer developed for the effort. The collection features early actuality footage as well as short narrative subjects, including footage of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island (1906), the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Hatfield and McCoy short "A Kentucky Feud" (1905), and "The Eagle's Nest" (1908), an early J. Searle Dawley short featuring a young actor named D.W. Griffith.
The Hearst Metrotone News Collection (1915-1977)
UCLA's Hearst Metrotone News Collection is one of the largest newsreel collections in the world. This preserved newsreel footage has been used in major studio pictures, television programs and award-winning documentaries.
Silent reels cover topics such as the First World War, the Mexican American War, the Black Sox Scandal, adventurous aviators, and North Pole explorers. European royalty were given special attention. The newsreels presented everything from the battle for recovery from the Depression to the battles of World War Two.
The Hollywood On Parade Collection (1932-1934)
From 1932 through 1934, the Paramount Studios publicity department produced a series of behind-the-scenes shorts depicting their top movie stars in various comedic vignettes. From the glamour of movie premieres to the zaniness of backlot go-kart races, these shorts made it seem like one couldn't set foot in Hollywood without running into a major star like Bing Crosby, Mae West, Cary Grant, or Clara Bow.
The Soundies Collection (1941-1947)
Produced from 1941 through 1947 to be shown in coin-operated 16mm rear projection machines, "Soundies" presented a diversity of musical subjects and styles. An uptempo Dorothy Dandridge sings about fashion in "A Zoot Suit." Duke Ellington confesses "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" in a jazzy number with his orchestra. Barry Wood tries to sell Defense Bonds to the music of Irving Berlin in "Any Bonds Today?" The UCLA Film & Television Archive holds over a thousand of these three-minute black-and-white short films in its collection.
The KTLA Newsfilm Collection (1955-1981)
Local award-winning television station KTLA-Channel 5 has documented the Los Angeles news scene for over fifty years. Just a sampling of the stories covered include historic events such as the Charles Manson family murders and subsequent trial, the Hillside Strangler, Angela Davis' troubles with the law, Cesar Chavez's union organizing, and major Hollywood activities such as the Academy Awards and Hollywood Walk Of Fame ceremonies. The majority of the collection is 16mm color film with ambient magnetic stripe soundtracks.
The Denove Collection (1960)
During the 1960 presidential campaign, filmmaker Jack Denove was asked to produce campaign commercials and programming for candidate John F. Kennedy. Using hand-held 16mm cameras and a mobile video unit, Denove filmed or videotaped every speech and public appearance; he also produced programs that addressed themes such as urban problems, medical care of the aged and revitalizing American prestige.
The Lighthill Collection (1965-1971)
Acclaimed documentary cameraman Stephen Lighthill (Gimme Shelter, Surfing For Life) captured U.S. culture during the turbulent years of America's early involvement in the Vietnam War. Based primarily in northern California, Lighthill was at the scene during numerous anti-war protests, the Black Panther movement, and the Grateful Dead's concert performance at the First Human Be-In.
The TV News Collection (1973-1975)
This mid-'70s pre-satellite forerunner of CNN had bureaus in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Its footage includes the Watergate scandal, the Patricia Hearst kidnapping, and major sports stories of the era. Approximately half the collection consists of released news stories, in color with reporter stand-ups and narration. The rest of the collection is made up of outtakes and raw footage, all shot on 16mm color film with magnetic stripe soundtracks.
Classic TV programs
The Shari Lewis Show, The U.S. Steel Hour, Mister Peepers and more, featuring many stars' early careers.